Big C (fight song)

Big C (fight song)

"Big C" is a fight song of the University of California, Berkeley. It was composed in 1913 by Harold P. Williams, with lyrics by Norman Loyall McLaren. It was written to commemorate the construction of the large concrete "C" in 1905 on the "rugged Eastern foothills" of the Berkeley campus. The song was the winning entry in the Daily Californian school song competition in 1913. Arrangements of the tune are used by other schools in the University of California system. Many High Schools including, Pittsburg High School, use this song to signify their excellence in all things ( their motto).


"On our rugged Eastern foothills,
"Stands our symbol clear and bold,
"Big "C" means to fight and strive
"And win for blue and Gold.
"Golden Bear is ever watching;
"Day by day he prowls,
"And when he hears the tread
"Of lowly Stanfurd red,
"From his Lair he fiercely growls.

"What's he say? He says:
"Grrrrrah, Grrrrrrah!
"Grrrr, Rrrr, Rrrrrah!

"We are Sons of California,
"Fighting for the Gold and Blue.
"Palms of glory we will win
"for Alma Mater true.
"Stanfurd's men will soon be routed
"By our dazzling "C",
"And when we serpentine,
"Their red will turn to green,
"In our hour of victory!

"What's he say? He says:
"Grrrrrah, Grrrrrrah!
"Grrrr, Rrrr, Rrrrrah!

(Unofficial Third Verse)

"Down our rugged Eastern foothills,
"Slides our symbol through the trees;
"Big "C" means look out below
"And stand back if you please.
"Stanfurd's men will soon be routed
"As it slips and falls,
"And when you hear the crash
"Of something getting smashed,
"Then you'll know it hit Bowles Hall!

Big Game Titration Verse

"We are Sons of California,
"Fighting for the Gold and Blue.
"Psalms and story and titration
"Soon will be all through.
"Stanford's men will soon be routed
"By Lab-ra-tory
"And when we stir this goo,
"The red will turn to blue,
"In this hour of Chemistry!


Kelley James, then Associate Director of the UCLA Marching Band and alumnus of the Cal Band wrote an arrangement of "Big C," for a halftime show performed by the combined marching bands from UCLA, UC Davis, and Cal. Afterwards, UCLA continued using James' arrangement of "Big C" as its fight song, adding their own lyrics and renaming it "Sons of Westwood." It was soon adopted as UCLA's fight song.

Many Cal fans, most notably Cal Band director James Berdahl, were enraged over what they saw as James' theft of their song. A bitter exchange ensued between Berdahl and James for the next several years concerning the legal and ethical grounds for James' adaptation of the song. Finally, on February 18, 1969, UCLA lawyers were told by the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress that "Big C" had never been copyrighted, and therefore in the public domain. However, whenever Cal plays UCLA and "Sons of Westwood" is played, Cal fans sing a parody ending, "but damn you, it's 'Big C.'" Likewise, whenever Cal plays "Big C" UCLA plays their signature "tag" at the end, which is a part of "Sons of Westwood" but not "Big C".

Other schools in the University of California system that play the song as one of their official fight songs include University of California, Irvine and UC Davis. UC Davis plays a version of the song that mentions Sacramento State, its own rival, instead of Stanford. Many high schools in California also use one of the arrangements of the tune.


The song has been recorded on several albums by the Cal Band, including Big C (1976), Spirit of California (1991), and University of California Band (2003).

See also

*Sons of Westwood

External links

* [ Cal Band page]

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